B.C. container truck drivers see boost in enforcement and rates

by Truck West

VICTORIA, B.C. – The B.C. government has committed to beef up enforcement and increase trip rates and hourly wages for container truck drivers.

“Our government has heard clearly from the container truck industry that more needs to be done, urgently, to help make things better for truck drivers, and we’re taking action,” said Claire Trevena, minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “We’re putting more money in the pockets of drivers by increasing trip rates and hourly wages, and empowering the commissioner to look at the overall rate structure. These are the first of many steps we are starting immediately to make sure Canada’s busiest port runs as efficiently as possible while ensuring the sector’s long-term stability and competitiveness.”

The rate increase is the first container truck drivers have seen in four years. Effective June 1, trip rates and hourly wages will be raised 2.6% for licensed container truck drivers serving the Port of Vancouver. The minimum daily call-out rate will also increase to $300 from $200.

The overall rate structure’s review will include looking at payments on a round-trip basis and the regulation of off-dock trips, with final recommendations due this fall.

On the enforcement side, the B.C. container trucking commissioner will have more capacity to enforce and investigate existing regulations with additional auditor and investigative support.

The Tag Management Policy and its impacts on the industry will also be monitored by the container trucking commissioner, with improvements expected in the fall.

Unifor, a Canadian union representing 315,000 workers, said the B.C. government’s announcement will help container truck drivers “earn a decent living and move closer towards peace at Vancouver’s ports.”

“Unifor worked hard to negotiate a plan that all sides agreed to,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor national president. “Unlike its predecessors, this government is moving to faithfully implement the signed plan.”

Paul Johal, Unifor-Vancouver Container Truckers’ Association president added that the effort moves them a step closer to the “goal of fairness for truckers.”

“A major pillar of the 2014 Joint Action Plan was to regulate all trips, including ’round-trip’ payments, so that all aspects of drivers’ work would be properly compensated,” said Johal.

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